How do I know if I have a deviated septum? What symptoms do most people experience when they have a deviated septum? After hitting my nose, I feel like it's a little crooked up high (only noticeable to me) and my nose gets really stuffed up when I sleep. I also think right after it happened my eyes looked like the dark circles that are normally there got a little worse. The tip of my nose gets a little sore sometimes too.
Common Deviated Septum Symptoms
Doctor Answers 24
Symptoms of septal deviation
Deviated septums can generate a variety of symptoms and sometimes none at all (asymptomatic).
Generally a deviated septum may:
- Cause external visible deviation (a crooked or twisted nose also called a c-shaped deformity)
- Deviation of the tip
- Make one nostril appear larger than the other
- Cause obstructive symptoms
- Be associated with sinus congestion
- Be worse with swelling at night
- Be worse with swelling casued by alterations in the autonomic nasal cycle
- Be aggravated by allergic conditions
Deviated Septum 101
The nasal septum is the midline partition of cartilage and bone that separates one side of the nose from the other. Normally, the septum is straight. When it is crooked, it is termed a deviated septum. A deviated septum can block the nasal passage and contribute to symptoms of nasal obstruction. If the septum is deviated to one side, then patients will have difficulty breathing out of that side. It is possible to have a septum that is deviated or buckled in more than one direction. This can cause nasal obstruction on both sides.
Septoplasty, is the name for the surgery used to correct nasal obstruction resulting from a deviated (crooked) septum. Because a septoplasty does not change the shape of the nose, it is not considered a cosmetic procedure and is usually covered by health insurance.
A septoplasty is performed by making an incision on the inside of of the nose. The nasal lining covering the septum is lifted off of the septum. The portion of the septum that blocks the nasal passage is usually removed or relocated to relieve the obstruction.
There are other reasons that patients have symptoms of nasal obstruction. These include enlargement of the turbinates or collapse of the mid-portion of the bridge or the nostril sidewalls. Fortunately, each of these problems can be corrected surgically at the time of a rhinoplasty or septoplasty.
Deviated Septum Symptoms
The most common symptom of a deviated nasal septum is a static nasal obstruction. It means the obstruction is always there and does not vary. The other type can be a dynamic obstruction caused by swelling of the turbinate glands inside the nose. These swell up with allergies, infections, hormonal changes etc.
Here is a test. You can get some Oxymetazolin spray over the counter and spray your nose. If it completely opens it, then you have dynamic or physiologic obstruction related to your turbinate glands. If the obstruction persists, then it is from a deviated septum. Typically it obstructs only one side only.
Note: Please do not use Oxymetazolin regularly in your nose as it can cause tolerance and chronic nasal obstruction called rhitis medicamentosa.
Your best option is to see an Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose, Throat doctor) to determine the cause of your nasal obstruction.
The deviation (crookedness) of the nose can be completely separate from the deviated septum issue. The sore tip should get better with time.
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A nose doctor can tell you if you have a deviated septum
There are some clues that would suggest that you have a deviated septum. If your nose is really crooked, or if your nostrils are uneven, there is a good chance that you do have one.
But why guess? A nose specialist can examine you and tell you for sure.
Most of the time, the reason for nasal blockage is benign. But nose specialists occasionally find a problem that is more concerning and that requires treatment right away.
Septal Deviation Symptoms
The most common symptoms of deviated septum include;
- Difficulty breathing through one or both nostrils
- recurrent or chronic sinus infections
- Nasal drainage or post nasal dripping
- Noisy breathing
- nasal bleeding
A board certified rhinoplasty surgeon with extensive training is best suited to address your problem
Direct or indirect examination of the nose as well as CT scan can be used to determine the extent of septal deviation.
Hope this was helpful.
Very likely a deviated septum
An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to assess your needs and provide true medical advice.
Symptoms of deviated septum
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.